By John Moore
May 26, 2013
The season finale of the weekly arts TV program “In Focus with Eden Lane” will air at 7 p.m. Friday on Colorado Public Television Channel 12.
In all likelihood, it will be the series finale as well.
Lane has broadcast an original half hour of local arts and culture coverage every week, virtually without interruption, for five years. But her self-produced labor of love, now totaling 156 episodes, has run out of sponsorship — and money.
The show actually ran out of money on April 5. Lane and her husband, cameraman Don Gassaway, have spent about $7,000 of their own money to produce the final seven episodes of Season 5, “just because we didn’t want to it to end that way,” Lane said.
Ironically, episode 156 will focus on funding arts organizations, and the economic impact they have on the communities they serve. Lane will announce the three local winners of 2013 Artplace America grants, totaling $650,000.
One of them is Wonderbound, the new incarnation of Ballet Nouveau Colorado dance company. Its goal is to obliterate boundaries between artistic mediums to uncover new possibilities in artistic expression. Lane visits with co-founders Garrett Ammon and Dawn Fae.
“In Focus with Eden Lane” has introduced viewers to hundreds of local and visiting artists, actors, dancers, writers and artistic leaders. It has always ranked among Channel 12’s highest-rated original programs, but Lane gets no financial support from Colorado Public Television to produce it.
The show’s future was at risk back in September when it lost its only sponsor, a local Go Chevrolet dealership. But Delta Dental Colorado came to the rescue, and viewers helped by kicking in $3,500 through a fundraising website. That allowed Season 5 to happen.
The upcoming break is officially being called “a hiatus” — the first in the show’s history, dating to 2009. “But the show is severely at risk,” Lane said, especially after efforts this week to establish a direct fiscal relationship between the show and the station failed to be realized.
Lane is encouraging viewers to express their support for the show by contacting the station directly at (303) 296-1212, or by writing:
Colorado Public Television
2900 Welton St., 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80205
Anyone wishing to make a direct, tax-deductible donation is encouraged to do so by clicking here.
If the show does not return to Channel 12, Lane says it could possibly come back as a leaner, web-based program, depending on levels of public interest and support.
“In five years, we have been able to shine a light on artists who are celebrities, and many artists who are not yet as celebrated, but should be,” Lane said. “We’ve introduced Coloradans to the amazing, diverse, vibrant work that is being done here in Colorado, and even broadcast it across the nation and to other countries through our web site.
“I’m grateful that Colorado Public Television and director of programming Brad Haug took a chance on us, and elevated our work to a prime-time weekly broadcast long before other big-budget programs with higher production values have started to do so as well.”
Lane has received much national media attention in the past year, all stemming from an interview she did with me for The Denver Post in September discussing her status as the first transgender journalist on mainstream TV in America. But the reason local arts aficionados have so warmly embraced Lane over the past five years has had nothing to do with her gender identity. Rather, her dogged, consistent commitment to her coverage, and for the personal and knowledgeable approach she takes to her profiles. That has been informed by her own theater and dance achievements, including appearances in several Broadway shows.
Support Eden Lane
You can make a direct, tax-deductible donation to support future episodes of “In Focus With Eden Lane” by clicking here.
Watch “In Focus With Eden Lane”
Watch the video of my most recent interview with Eden Lane, which aired on her program May 13: